Spurgeon's Approach

Arminianism, free will, free choice, Calvinism, and hyper-Calvinism, are terms we may hear discussed today. In more theological circles words such as; Pelegianism, semi-Pelegianism, election, predestination, total depravity, irresistible grace, and foreknowledge are also debated. Sadly, too often the discussion is merely an intellectual contest, with a “winner take all” mentality. Calm humility rarely characterizes those who discuss such areas of truth.

I believe, like many evangelists and Bible teachers, in the total depravity of man, and the sovereignty of God in salvation. At the same time I believe man is responsible for what he does with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus. Believing thus I am persuaded that brother Spurgeon’s approach to preaching the Gospel is a sound one—preach as if it all depends upon man, and pray as if it all depends on the Lord. (1 Cor. 3:6)

My belief in God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility has never hindered my preaching of the Gospel. On the other hand, neither has it hindered my teaching of Scriptures which teach the sovereignty of God in our salvation. The same would be true of those Bible teachers previously mentioned.

A greater concern should be whether we are faithful in preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Do we stress the love of God at the expense of His righteousness?   Do we stress the holiness of God at the expense of His love?  Do we use Biblical terms such as; believe, repentance, sin, death, hell, eternal damnation, redemption , forgiveness, propitiation, or do we simply use terms that are vague or meaningless?  Do we take the place of the Holy Spirit and force professions of faith where there is no repentance?

I continue to be overwhelmed with God’s grace that not only made salvation possible and available, but which without I would have never come to faith in Christ. Does this mean I cannot have fellowship with those who believe differently in this area? To date it has never hindered my fellowship with those who love and preach the same Christ. Sadly, there are some who have extreme views, but this is true in both ends of the spectrum.

Men through the ages have held the two views, some working side by side to take the Gospel to the lost. It is a concern to me that brothers and sisters in Christ cannot discuss these views in a spirit of love and humility. No doubt there are many common areas in which they do agree and in which they can rejoice. Certainly, they can rejoice together in God’s amazing love and grace, and in their wonderful Savior.   They can also labor together to “spread the Word”of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.